By: Jane Goorden
Brexit will have major consequences for British companies that rely on trade with the rest of the European Union. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve, and for many organisations relocating to Amsterdam is an attractive option. Amsterdam’s Zuidas district is the financial heart of the Netherlands – a beehive buzzing with hundreds of national and international companies, in close proximity to Schiphol and well connected with the rest of the country. But Zuidas has much more to offer as a business location.
Follow international companies from London to Amsterdam
A number of leading multinationals have already announced plans to relocate from London to Amsterdam, and organisations like NEX Group, MarketAxess, Tradeweb, Jefferies, MUFG, Royal Bank of Scotland and the European Medicines Agency have already made the leap. For all of these organisations, the main reason for choosing Amsterdam over other European cities is its convenient location and attractive business climate. Its excellent accessibility, knowledge-hub status, pleasant living environment and sound infrastructure are just the cherries on top. And rental prices in Amsterdam are much lower than they are in London, making it an affordable place to live for expats.
Gateway to Europe
For many companies outside the EU, London is currently still an important Gateway to Europe, but Brexit is set to change that. International companies prefer to do business with the EU directly rather than going through an intermediary. After Brexit, the most likely candidate to take over from London as Gateway to Europe is Amsterdam. Thanks to its excellent accessibility and global appeal, the Zuidas financial district, with its combination of shiny glass office buildings, futuristic apartment complexes and a friendly and accessible working and living environment, will prove a popular choice for companies looking to relocate.
Zuidas: facts and figures
Should you decide to relocate to Zuidas, you will become part of a dynamic international trading environment. In 2017 alone, Brexit was responsible for the creation of over 300 jobs as a result of newly arriving companies. There are currently 700 companies located in Zuidas, creating work for a total of 39,000 employees. Almost all branches are represented in the financial heart of the Netherlands: banks and financial institutions represent 25% of all business activity in Zuidas, with legal services accounting for 19% and other business services for 15%. You will also find tech companies, media organisations, social-service providers, non-profits and educational institutions in Zuidas. Of all the companies currently located in Amsterdam’s financial district, 45% were founded in the Netherlands. This means that the remaining 55% is comprised of international companies, 9% of which are from the United Kingdom and 18% from the United States.
Location of choice for international headquarters
More and more companies are establishing their European headquarters in Zuidas, opting for Amsterdam over London. The district is evolving at a rapid pace and transforming into an attractive living and working environment for expats as well as Amsterdam natives. Suppliers are also keeping a close eye on the current Brexit-related developments, as the arrival of new European headquarters in Amsterdam is expected to generate a snowball effect. Various parts of each industry’s respective chain will also settle in or around the Amsterdam area, to ensure that business processes keep running as efficiently as possible.
No shortage of English-speaking staff in Zuidas
Zuidas is the ideal business location for international companies after Brexit, not least because of the ample availability of English-speaking employees. The general level of education in the Netherlands is high, and almost the entire population understands and speaks English. Doing business with the rest of the world is part of the Dutch cultural DNA: after all, Amsterdam has been an important centre for international trade for centuries now. The entrepreneurial attitude of the Dutch, combined with their excellent English skills, makes Dutch staff a natural fit for any global company.
Relocating to the Netherlands?
Brexit Amsterdam offers translation services and training courses to help you make the transition as smoothly as possible: